Drunkorexia: A new term and diagnostic criteria

J Am Coll Health. 2019 Oct;67(7):620-626. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2018.1500470. Epub 2018 Oct 4.


Individuals who restrict their caloric intake and/or exercise excessively to mitigate the calories from alcohol consumption may suffer from an eating disorder, substance abuse disorder, or both. While the term "drunkorexia" has been used in both academic articles and popular culture, issues persist with respect to diagnosing and treating this condition. Classifying the behavior as a subcategory of Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) would provide patients with an increased likelihood of receiving insurance coverage for this condition. A consistent definition of this behavior and a more medically accurate/appropriate term-such as "alcoholimia"-are both needed to advance treatment and prevention efforts.

Keywords: College students; disordered eating; drunkorexia; high-risk drinking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / classification*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / classification*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities
  • Young Adult